June 22, 2007
by Richard Mouw
This calls for Christians, then, to work actively together as agents of this restorative program that encompasses the whole range of cultural involvement. In those circles where Kuyper's name is still revered, laypeople credit Kuyper's influence in their understanding of what it means to serve the Lord in the insurance business or journalism, as a state legislator or in the teaching of English literature. Even when these folks may not know much about the technical details of Kuyper's theological system, they are quick to quote at least some version of his bold manifesto, set forth toward the end of his inaugural address at the founding of the Vrije Universiteit: "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'"
Even politics — often depicted by theologians as a purely post-lapsarian remedial response to human rebellion — is grounded for Kuyper in God's original creating purposes. Even in a sinless social setting some sort of collective decision-making would be necessary for the harmonious ordering of human affairs. In a sinless world where complex activities take place, rules and regulations would have an important function. Even totally benevolent, God- glorifying human beings would have had to decide which side of the road to drive on, and would have had to stipulate when individuals who wanted to practice playing their tubas could do so without unnecessarily disturbing the naptimes of children who live in the same sub-section of the Garden. It is this same kind of ordering/ regulating function that also promotes flourishing under present sinful conditions by setting up traffic signals and hiring school crossing guards.
This sounds like a welcome alternative to the cries of those who decry Constantine and Christendom without bothering to learn much about either...